2018 was a pretty good year, but for me, it has been most filled with positive growth. And that growth has also been through pain. After having frustrating dealings with sharing a home (with my friend and her husband), it came to a head in late January, culminating with my daughter and I being asked to move out (sent by text, no less).
I descended into panic mode and had to report almost daily on my progress. I knew they were moving as well (across town), and I wasn’t about to be a lay about. Netflix was restricted to password access only, so even on my downtime neither I nor my daughter were permitted access. It was most hard on her, as she would most likely have to move out of her school district (and we ended up having to do just that in the end).
So, after many viewings, we found a place, and it turned out to be a great one. The best part has been that unlike my “friend”, who leans on connections to get ahead, I got this one on my very own. To be fair, the only contribution was a reference letter.
Moving day was interesting, but went smoothly. However, I was badgered to return to pick up other “stuff”, and then her husband started ladling things that weren’t ours into my car. I stopped him, but he was in a frenzy. I ended up bringing most of it to the town dump.
I see now that perhaps my biggest mistake in all this was living with them in the first place. And before anyone criticizes, let me first say that I did so at their invitation. I never asked.
Just a few weeks after moving in, our first fight happened. She commanded both I and her husband to get in her car and we all headed to the park, where she proceeded to stomp and scream about how she was being unfairly treated. Later on she told me that she didn’t care how I had *just* lost my mother, but my depression was making her depressed. It was at this time that I pushed my grief inward. I realized that it was not safe to express my sorrow anywhere near her (it also caused me to lose myself). But it was too late to get back the apartment that I had put my deposit down on, sadly.
When my daughter lost her dad a year later, she also regarded her with a short fuse and shouted at her shortly thereafter. I’m ashamed to admit that I stayed even with this. The kind, open person I had known for over 20 years had become a stranger to me, even worse than that, an enemy, someone who held more value for stray animals than she did people. I’m proud to say that this one part has caused me (and my daughter) to get more involved with the homeless and needy.
This isn’t a woe is me tale, nor do I plan on it being so. I’ve gained a lot of strength from going through the pain and heartbreak of this last chapter in my friendship with this person.
Over the summer, she developed an illness, and felt I wasn’t present for her during it. I was extremely busy, working several jobs, and hey–why the fuck should I be there for someone who enjoyed hurting me? Why I still held onto our friendship even then is beyond me. She gave me putdowns like extolling the joy she got now that we had moved out, how her relationship with her husband was better than it ever had been, yadda yadda.
I finally ended it (or shall I say, we mutually walked away) in December, early in the month, when I just stopped all communications. She did as well, it was wonderful the peace that came over me from just stopping the insanity. I wish I had just ended things back when I first moved, but I was weak and afraid.
I’ve since apologized to my daughter, who couldn’t understand why I kept going back to someone like her. I’ve since examined why I did just that, and combined with habit, I have a history of having friendships with abusive women (though not all, happy to say). It stems from childhood, my mother in particular.
Onto other things, I also took on a seasonal part-time job working at the stadium, in concessions, and found I was tougher than I gave myself credit for. It was fun, but also grueling. But now I know what the 3 sinks are for in restaurants, as well as the correct temps for food, displays, alcohol compliance, working fast. It was really an experience.
I’m working on an e-book for 2019, don’t want to give away all the details yet, but it centers around growth and overcoming fear. Not another self-help book, I assure you.